How long is a session? How often do clients attend therapy?
Each session is 50 minutes, and sessions are on a weekly basis (or twice weekly, if needed). Sessions longer than 50 minutes are available to clients who are not using insurance.
How long does therapy last?
This is difficult to predict and depends on a number of factors, such as: your goals, what kinds of issues bring you to therapy, your level of commitment, and your life circumstances. Most often my clients elect to continue seeing me for a year or more (with the exception of hypnosis-only clients with more focused goals). Some people terminate therapy once they are satisfied that they have achieved certain specific goals. Others commit to longer-term therapy either because they need more time to address their issues, or because they find value in having a dedicated time and place to receive support and to focus on their personal needs and aspirations.
One reason therapy length is hard to predict is that often what clients present initially as their concern or goal turns out to be only one part of a larger picture or theme that unfolds as therapy progresses. This is one of the best things therapy has to offer: helping you understand your concerns and needs in the larger context of your life and your personality. I invite you to talk with me at any time about how therapy is progressing and what kind of time frame seems appropriate and necessary.
What is your style of psychotherapy?
I consider therapy to be an ongoing, highly engaged and intimate conversation between two people, with the wellbeing of the client at the center. As such, I am not usually as focused on "techniques" as I am on the relational aspects of the time we spend together. I focus on bringing myself in a grounded way to each session so that my clients can feel my genuine care and interest in their concerns. My primary goal is to create those conditions that allow a client to feel safe, accepted, heard, understood, and validated. As we converse and listen deeply, the solutions present themselves and the healing unfolds. I ask questions that stimulate deep thinking and help the client to consider a situation from a new angle.
I tend to work in the here-and-now, but I also keep an eye on a client’s personal history and those events and relationships from the past may be affecting a person’s present life. I believe some of the most powerful influences we have are the relationship blueprints we formed in our childhood families. My theoretical orientation incorporates aspects of several schools of thought, with particular emphasis on the following:Client-Centered/Humanistic, Cognitive Behavioral (“CBT”), Intersubjective, Relational, and Attachment theories.
What is the best way to choose a therapist?
You may want to meet with more than one therapist to get a feel for how different clinicians work and to for what style you are drawn to. Sometimes a referral from someone you know is a good lead — but just because your friend likes her therapist, it does not necessarily follow that that therapist will be a good match for you.
You may want to find a therapist with specific training and expertise. For example, many clients have sought me out because they had read about the wealth of research showing how effective CBT is for depression and anxiety.
The most important element is a feeling of trust and rapport between you and your therapist. When you sit with a clinician, notice how you feel: Are you at ease? Do you talk openly and freely? Do you sense that the person is interested in you and respects you? Do you feel you could trust this person to work with you compassionately and ethically?
This is a very personal, very important decision, so take your time and listen to your instincts!